Tour Information

This years Emerging Civil War Symposium tour will explore the Battle of Brandy Station.

Fleetwood Hill, the epicenter of the Brandy Station battlefield.

Taking place on June 9, 1863, the engagement marked the opening of the Gettysburg Campaign. The battle pitted Maj. Gen. James Ewell Brown “Jeb” Stuart against Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton.

With the initiative firmly in hand following his victory at Chancellorsville, Robert E. Lee determined to launch a second Northern invasion. Prior to the movement from Fredericksburg, Lee ordered Stuart’s cavalry to Culpeper County in anticipation of screening the infantry march west to the Shenandoah Valley. Stuart’s concentration was soon discovered by Pleasonton’s cavalry. Fearing that Stuart was planning a raid toward Washington, the commander of the Army of the Potomac, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, ordered Pleasonton to cross the Rappahannock and destroy Stuart.

Pleasonton took with him his entire corps, three divisions under Brig. Gens. John Buford, David Gregg and Col. Alfred Duffié. This force was augmented by two demi-brigades of infantry under Brig. Gens. Adelbert Ames and David Russell. Pleasonton planned to send Buford over the Rapphannock at Beverly’s Ford while Gregg and Duffié crossed at Kelly’s Ford. Buford and Gregg were to rendezvous at a stop on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, Brandy Station. With Duffié covering the column’s left flank, the Union divisions would move on to Culpeper and engage the Confederates.

Stuart, however, was not at Culpeper Court House as Pleasonton believed, but encamped about Brandy Station. Before dawn on June 9, as Buford splashed across Beverly Ford, his troopers ran into Brig. Gen. William E. “Grumble” Jones’ brigade. Jones managed to hold off the Federals long enough for Stuart to establish a defensive position along a ridge occupied by St. James Church and on the adjacent Cunningham Farm. For several hours, Stuart managed to hold off Buford’s probes. Then late in the morning, word arrived that Gregg’s division had reached the Confederate rear at Brandy Station, threatening to trap Stuart. Skillfully, Stuart shifted his brigades to meet Gregg. The two sides clashed atop a long ridge known as Fleetwood Hill.

Meanwhile, Duffié had proceeded to the village of Stevensburg, several miles south of Brandy Station. There he was met by elements of Brig. Gen. Wade Hampton’s brigade. From the north bank of Mountain Run, Hampton’s troopers successfully delayed the Union cavalrymen and kept  Duffié from reinforcing Gregg on Fleetwood Hill.

After fourteen hours of fighting, Pleasonton decided to withdraw to the north bank of the Rappahannock. Although Stuart held the field, the battle began the transformation of the Union cavalry into a formidable fighting force.

Our tour leaders are Emerging Civil War Series co-authors and cavalry historians Eric J. Wittenberg and Daniel T. Davis. Wittenberg and Davis are the authors of Out Flew the Sabres: The Battle of Brandy Station, June 9, 1863.

*This years tour is a car caravan tour, but will include walking.

Tour Start Location:

The tour will begin at the Confederate Horse Artillery Park on the Brandy Station

Confederate Horse Artillery Park, the start and end point of the tour.

battlefield. It is located on the Beverly Ford Road (State Route 676/677) in Culpeper County.

Please note that this will not be a round trip walking tour. ECW will ask participants to car share. Those who are not driving may leave their cars at the Horse Artillery Park. It will be the starting and ending point of the tour.

Getting to the Tour Start Location:

From Stevenson Ridge (Approximately a 47 Minute Drive):

-Turn right onto Route 208 towards Spotsylvania Court House and immediately enter right lane.

-In 1.6 miles, turn right onto the Brock Road (Route 613).

-In 11.3 miles, at the intersection of the Brock Road and Germanna Highway (Route 3) turn left.

-Follow Route 3 for 11.3 miles and turn right onto Carrico Mills Road (Route 669).

-In 5.8 miles you will reach Brandy Station. After crossing the railroad tracks, turn right at the Stop sign and proceed to the stop light at James Madison Highway (Route 15/29). Turn right at the stop light and enter the left lane.

-Proceed 2.2 miles to the next stop light. Turn left onto Beverly Ford Road (Route 676/677).

-The Confederate Horse Artillery Park is 1.8 miles ahead on the left and on the opposite side of the road from the Culpeper Regional Airport. There is a Civil War Trust sign near the entrance.

From the Hampton Inn-Fredericksburg South (Approximately a 50 Minute Drive):

-Turn left onto US Route 1 and in 0.4 miles turn right to merge onto I-95 North.

-Proceed on I-95 to and exit on Exit 130-B to the Plank Road (Route 3 West).

-Continue on Route 3 for 23 miles and turn right onto Carrico Mills Road (Route 669).

-In 5.8 miles you will reach Brandy Station. After crossing the railroad tracks, turn right at the Stop sign and proceed to the stop light at James Madison Highway (Route 15/29). Turn right at the stop light and enter the left lane.

-Proceed 2.2 miles to the next stop light. Turn left onto Beverly Ford Road (Route 676/677).

-The Confederate Horse Artillery Park is 1.8 miles ahead on the left and on the opposite side of the road from the Culpeper Regional Airport. There is a Civil War Trust sign near the entrance.

Lunch:

Lunch will be picnic style.

Participants may bring their own lunch, or purchase one through ECW at the symposium registration table.

GPS coordinates for the Confederate Horse Artillery Park: 38.531342, -77.858507